One city’s eye sore is one developer’s opportunity

State grant program made redevelopment a reality.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program is a federal grant program utilizing funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Each year, Michigan receives approximately $30 million in federal CDBG funds, out of which various projects are funded through the state.

Grant funding is designed to assist local units of government that have plans in place to promote and strengthen the infrastructure and environment in their downtowns. These grants are designed to help create vibrant communities and enhance sense of place through blight elimination, job creation, and benefiting areas of low to moderate income individuals.   

In a strategic partnership between Michigan-based company Catt Development, the City of Boyne City, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), two historic buildings in Boyne City’s Central Business District are receiving major renovations. The total project will cost over $4 Million and will utilize a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a local building redevelopment incentive program for reimbursing activities including façade, fire suppression and barrier free access, and local and state Brownfield reimbursements to make this project a reality.

So in Boyne City, the nearly 100 year old buildings, which include a historic “bus garage” in the rear, have been for sale for many years. Struggling with a revolving door of tenants, the buildings had significant deferred maintenance issues and required many upgrades, including exterior restoration, new windows, new roof, all new mechanical, plumbing and electrical, fire suppression and barrier free access upgrades to current standards, site utilities, site improvement and parking, and interior finishing.

For more information about the Community Development Block Grant funds and how your community can tap into for development purposes, contact your MEDC community action team member or your area economic development organization, such as the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance.

Michigan State University Extension partner Northern Lakes Economic Alliance has been assisting the enhancement of communities in the counties of Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet with CDBG funded projects. NLEA is providing grand administration services for this CDBG project in Boyne City.

Michigan State University Extension has had a unique relationship with the regional economic development organization Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA) for more than 20 years. Recognizing the strength of combining resources, this partnership focuses on economic development, entrepreneurship growth and community infrastructure throughout a four-county region in the northwest Lower Peninsula, specifically Antrim, Charlevoix, Cheboygan and Emmet counties. As a result, the NLEA utilizes resources offered through MSU Extension as it provides leadership to state-wide programs sponsored by MSU Extension.” 

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